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Hunt and Peck Vs. Touch Typing: Can Typing with Two Fingers Be as Fast As with 10?

There are plenty of people who can type quickly using just two fingers. Like with any skill, typing with just two fingers takes practice, and with more practice, speed and accuracy will improve.

So why bother learning to touch type with all ten fingers if you can do fine with just two? The bottom line is that even the fastest hunt and peck typists will never be able to type as quickly as someone who is making use of all ten of their digits. Below, we explore the most efficient method of typing for speed and accuracy.

What is hunt and peck typing?

Hunt and peck typing is a technique using one finger from each hand–usually the index or middle fingers–to “hunt” for keys on the keyboard. Generally, this involves breaking focus from a computer screen in order to look down at the keyboard to type a word.

So why bother learning to touch type with all ten fingers if you can do fine with just two? The bottom line is that even the fastest hunt and peck typists will never be able to type as quickly as someone who is making use of all ten of their digits with the touch typing technique.

What is touch typing?

According to the Oxford dictionary, touch typing is “the practice or skill of typing using all one’s fingers and without looking at the keys.” This is learned over time with correct instruction and regular practice with two hands and all ten fingers.

Typing Efficiency

Hopping from one key to the next with the same finger is almost like trying to pedal a bike with one leg. Sure you could learn to hop back and forth pretty quickly, but you’ll never be as fast as if you were using your left foot for the left pedal and your right foot on the right pedal.

Like with a bicycle, each key on the keyboard has a finger that is responsible for it. This is designed so that your fingers move as little as possible.

Thus, if you keep your fingers on the home row and only move the necessary finger, you’re guaranteed to go faster than if you’re moving your whole hands and wrists around the keyboard. With hunt and peck, you might move your index finger up four rows or horizontally across the whole keyboard just to find the letter you need, which is ultimately inefficient and tiring. With touch typing, each finger has its “home key” on the keyboard layout where it rests when it’s inactive.

Muscle Memory

Despite its name, muscle memory isn’t stored in your muscles, it’s stored in a part of your brain called the cerebellum. Although the cerebellum only makes up 10% of your brain volume, it contains over 50% of the brain’s neurons.

When you learn a new movement, your brain creates a memory of the pieces that make up that movement and stores it in your cerebellum. Scientists call this motor learning.

Committing typing to muscle memory frees you from devoting mental energy to thinking about each letter as you type it. You’ll be able to focus on the content you’re typing rather than thinking about (or looking for) the next key to press. When your fingers know where to go automatically, it’s very relaxing and efficient.

Repetition strengthens your brain’s memory of “the right way” to perform the task and consolidates the results into muscle memory. Thus, the more repetitions you’ve performed, the more your brain has to analyze.

Put simply—the more you practice, the stronger your muscle memory will be.

Typing without looking at the keyboard engages all four brain hemispheres.

Practicing the wrong way can be detrimental, as bad habits tend to crop up when you’re under pressure. And they are much harder to correct later.

So, we can help you retrain yourself early on to avoid repeating the same mistakes and hardwiring them into muscle memory. In other words, it’s better to learn to touch type now to avoid training the brain to learn to hunt and peck the keys and then having to unlearn it later.

To take advantage of this, we recommend you to take a custom practice lesson made up for your problem keys at least once a week.

Average Typing Speeds

The average typing speed when using only two fingers is 27 words per minute (WPM) when copying and 37 WPM when typing from memory. The average typing speed for someone touch typing with ten fingers is between 40 and 60 WPM.

While this might not seem like a huge difference on a minute-by-minute basis, the extra time it takes to only use two fingers certainly adds up. For example, if you write 10 emails a day for work, it might take you around 2 hours to write these emails using just two fingers at a rate of 27 WPM. It would take closer to 1 hour to write the same emails if you were touch typing at a speed of 50 WPM. That adds up to a full hour of extra time every day!

Looking beyond just the average typing speed, some exceptionally fast hunt and peck typists can reach up to 70 WPM, but the fastest touch typists can break 100 WPM! This means that as you get faster, the speed disparity between two-finger typing and touch typing only grows.

Typing Accuracy

In addition to being slower, hunt and peck typing also tends to be less accurate. Since you need to be looking at the keys much more when typing with two fingers, you are less likely to catch mistakes as you make them–meaning it will take you more time to go back and proofread work once you’ve finished. Touch typists, on the other hand, can do this all at the same time, reading as they type and correcting as they go along.

There is no doubt about it: touch typing is a much better bet than the hunt and peck method! So before you wear out those index fingers, it’s worth investing the time and effort that it takes to learn to type with all ten fingers. And it’s never too early or late to get started!

The lessons at Typing.com walk you through the basics to train you to start using all 10 of your fingers. Get started now, and you’ll be well on your way to faster typing speeds before you know it.

Find out your typing speed and accuracy with our online speed typing tests.


49 thoughts on “Hunt and Peck Vs. Touch Typing: Can Typing with Two Fingers Be as Fast As with 10?

  1. I type using two fingers, and I can hit over 130WPM with high accuracy, and around 100WPM with 100% accuracy. This is completely wrong, seeming as I don’t know any touch typists whom can type faster then me, it’s simply a different style of typing and is not inferior at all.

      1. If anyone can type faster than 65 wpm, go to the site here, video yourself typing with 2 fingers and prove it. The above numbers are absolutely correct. The fastest typist in the WORLD types 170 wpm and it is on YouTube when he does it.

        Many typing sites do NOT have the correct wpm used within the coding. Instead of using 5 letters including spaces as a letter. Period. This has been the calculation for wpm today and as far back as the first QWERTY typewriter.

        Again, prove it, record it, place it on YouTube.

        1. You are referring to the site they recommended above? Typing.com? Because I keep hitting over 90wpm on that site using two fingers only .

        2. In this video I do a 1 minute test on typing.com with solely my index fingers, getting 116WPM with 99% accuracy. I’m sorry for the sideways view, but it was difficult to film this alone with my phone.


          The most important factor in terms of typing speed is practice.

        3. The fastest typist is 170 WPM? you’re probably who made this website lol. people type with 200 WPM+ and recorded :fp:

      2. But if you used 10 fingers, maybe you’d hit around 140wpm and it is really more efficient to type with all fingers as your hands tend to hover over all the keys relevant to each hand ready to use those keys, there is no movement of hand required.

    1. Hard to believe…based on my experience and training as a keyboard instructor (where I was timed in typing business documents with mixed/numeric/symbols text.) What kind of documents are you typing at this speed–reports, tables with statistical data, legal documents, letters? Are you looking at the screen and keyboard simultaneously rather than typing from copy/documents?

    2. I completely agree. I can type upwards of 140WPM with a 95 percent accuracy with just two fingers. It seems to be SO much slower with ten, reaching upwards of 30 WPM. I really like to type fast, so I don’t want to change.

      1. Logan, as I stated to someone else. You need to check the code because wpm on a lot of websites is incorrect. The correct wpm is five spaces, which include the space.

        The most anyone has EVERY typed is 170wpm, which you can find easily on YouTube.

        If you can do this, then prove it using this site because I know the formula in the coding is correct. and video tape it using two fingers, post it – then maybe you will be us touch typist who really can type upwards of 100wpm – which takes years of practice. You cannot type faster than about 35-55 and with 2 fingers.

        1. dont know if this counts as using two fingers because i use middle finger on right and then the index on left, but i can get up to about 90-95. Very good for school work.

    3. First of all you’re wrong I am a pretty competitive person on your nitro type.com website and I type usually an average of 98 wpm and I type with two fingers and my highest was 108 wpm I am known as Walter073 but also as Challinfe073 I’m usually on y’all’s leaderboards but just to make a point in have a 98% accuracy on there so yeah don’t compare us two typing fingers with them ten typing fingers that is so not cool just leave them be! I prove my case.

    4. I can hit like 57 WMP total and 47 corrected for errors typing from memory with three fingers. Middle finger on my left hand and both index and middle on my right. Thumbs to use space-bar of course

      Not nearly as fast as you but still far above the articles claims and on par with the 10 finger average.

    5. Yes, exactly. I type with 2 fingers but I recognize the keyboard of course and I type 120 average and my highest was 127 WPM.. That’s not true lol, depends on what’s more comfortable for you and which method you grew up using.
      Great job Heckled Heck, we’re at the same speed and we use 2 fingers, higher than most of the 10 fingers people around here probably.

    6. I do many…. your way causes more stress to you and more errors… its proven I have been teach for 19 years on this! Sorry!

    7. I’m only 12 years old, and I only type with two fingers at around 50WPM. This article is very incorrect and misleading. I’ve typed like that my whole life and I am much slower typing with 10 fingers so why change when I’ve come so far?

      1. It’s all about muscle memory; you have learned muscle memory of 2 fingers, so you are comfortable with it. However, if there were a reset button and you had never learned except with 10 fingers, the odds are very strong that you would be faster than 50 wpm. again…the fingers are closer to the keys. also, with 10 fingers you are not moving the wrists around as much or the arms, which when typing for long periods of time will tire out more muscles that using home row correctly. The 10 finger method causes the least wear and tear on muscles from the fingers on up.

    8. Yes it is – It looks inferior to everyone. I have been teaching over 20 years and your method is proven to be slower and cause more stress, fatigue, mistakes and injury to the body. You are thinking about each letter and looking for it as opposed to someone who types without thinking about it. Proper way uses muscle memory and skill. Someone who hunts and pecks always is less proficient and looks unprofessional. Please do not tell students your way is correct when you have no credentials or professional background or authority to do so. Employers do not want someone who hunts and pecks over the long proven correct method.

  2. Kind of inaccurate. My average wpm is around 70-80 with HnP without focusing too much and I don’t look at my keyboard at all.

  3. Jane Northwey – I can do 54 wpm, no errors with two fingers, but I use my thumbs for the spacebar, whichever is closest to the spacebar at the time. I also use my little finger for the shift key so I’m not sure if that counts as two fingers or not. I’m not sure if “Heckled Heck” can type at 100wpm with no errors, but I believe it’s certainly possible. I think a big reason I type with two (three? four?) fingers is because in fifth grade when we did a typing class, I could never manage to use ten fingers without looking at the keyboard. I can look at the keyboard far less using two/four fingers. By the way, I’d like to point out that this stupid site actually DOES publish your email. When I reply, the name is filled in by default with “Jane Northwey” and email with “*****[email protected]

  4. I type with 2 fingers and I my average typing speed on nitro type is 68 wpm, while my best is 78. Reaching past 70 wpm is not a task for me, and I don’t need to look at the keyboard either. But is it necessary to use all 10 fingers? Specifically the pinky finger is what annoys me.

  5. It is really hard to type with your hands staying on the home row. I use all ten of my fingers, but I bounce around the keyboard. It’s easier for me. Hunt and peck is so hard for me to just get things done. I’m just 11 years old, but with this kind I go to 50 wpm.

  6. I type with 2 fingers and type WAY faster than the average on this page. My average is around 85 wpm and my highest was 100 wpm so this is very inaccurate considering the fact I easily straight up DESTROY most touch typers that are average (My average on nitrotype is 85 wpm and my highest is 100 wpm)
    With 1 finger I also type faster than the 2 finger average

  7. I laugh at all the 2 finger typers getting upset on here. It’s simply physics… the travel time using 2 fingers to type a mixed paragraph will be far longer than for someone typing with 10 fingers.

    For all the keyboard warriors on here who claim to type 80+ WPM. That is most likely because you practiced that test and that is your highest score. This doesn’t mean that’s your typing speed. Try and take a fresh test and see what your score is. Even if you do type 80+ WPM with 2 fingers, you would be FAR faster with using 10. You’re only limiting and hurting yourselves.

    1. Most of us peckers can’t help it, we were raised using two fingers to type. I myself can type around 90 – 110 with a 90 – 100% accuracy on a fresh test, and if practiced can go up to 120 – 140 wpm with a 96 – 100% accuracy. Sure, you might be faster when using the normal style, but if you started off pecking, it really isn’t worth the trouble.

  8. I get around 50-60 WMP using two fingers. I used to type with all 10 and typed at about the same rate but it was uncomfortable for me and made my wrists hurt. 2 finger typing doesn’t hurt my wrists at all. As an engineer, speed is the last thing on my mind when writing emails or drawing notes. The bottleneck for me isn’t WPM, but rereading the content repeatedly to make sure that its technically accurate, doesn’t create unnecessary legal liability, and more than anything that the wording is clear and concise such that someone who isn’t familiar with the subject has a reasonable opportunity to understand what I’m saying. I was told in school that I could not survive as a professional if I didn’t conform to the 10 finger system. Total nonsense which could have made me more vulnerable to carpal tunnel syndrome or caused me to abandon my career aspirations unnecessarily. Always draw your own conclusions.

  9. I don’t find this misleading, but I definitely say that some of this might need to be worked on. There are some people who are able to type very fast (230 WPM), which is actually possible and there’s a world record for it. But, two finger typists aren’t that slow at typing. Take me for example, I love typing with two fingers, I never look at the keyboard, and I nearly type 100% accuracy without even trying as much. I type regularly around 96 WPM, and on some occasions when I actually know what I am working on, knowing what i need to type, I can nearly type over 140 WPM. Trust me, there are people on this world who cant type faster than some 2 finger typists, and that is fine. I see that I should be able to go 10 finger typing, and get EVEN faster, limiting my speed, but I feel VERY uncomfortable with 10 finger typing, and I already type fast enough. I’m not trying to say to change all of the information, but just know that they’re people (like me and some people in this thread) that can type EXTREMELY fast with only 2 fingers.

    1. That’s entirely irrelevant if he’s already much faster than most touchtypists with just two fingers.

  10. hmm , I can type 70 + wpm on Nitro Type a Teaching.com product . And my fastest their is about 101 wpm and i also peck …… Ive also beat my teacher who types 80 wpm with the hunt and peck method . Not to mention my Acc is around 96% usually

  11. Hi there, I’m a competitive gamer who hits around the top 1 percent in leaderboards for quite a few major games. I really don’t focus much on typing and I hit 85 words with 98 percent on that stupid typingtest.com you mentioned without even trying much. I can even record it for you guys if you want. I usually use 2, 3 and sometimes 1 finger just randomly depending on my mood. Of course typing with 10 fingers is faster but whats the point when you already type fast. Also being in the top 1 percent of games I can tell you that people with 2 fingers can definitely hit 90+ words, it’s just half of the population probably cannot do it and you probably can’t too and thats why you find it unimaginable that someone can type that fast with two fingers. People like this exist in video games too where they think the players in the top 1 percent are cheating just because they are better than them. Anyway this was fun writing and I hope it gives your more insight into how people can type fast with only two fingers.

  12. I am a 12-year-old hunt and pecker, and I type an average of 80 Wpm, and my twin who also hunts and pecks types 93. I think this article is very misleading.

  13. Its not that this site is wrong, but misleading. Hunt and peck would be rather slow. But why would we need to hunt? The keys don’t move any more than they do with 10finger typist. Once you touch the f and j keys, perhaps rest your thumbs on the space bar to keep your hand in place, and your good to go. Your not going to find many actual computer users (writters/bloggers/chatters/programmers, 6hrs+ per day on PC) hunting-and-pecking. We either know how to type normally, or have memorized the keyboard layout. Either way is incredibly fast. Manipulate 10 fingers is a little bit faster, but not significantly so for most people. Manipulating on 10 fingers takes a bit more processing power than 2, which stops it from having an overwhelming 5x (or even 2x) speed increase,

    I can only imagine that the people claiming otherwise are judging by 10finger typist (aka. themselves) trying to actually type with just 2 fingers. The reality is, most of us really type with 4-6. index for normal keys, pinky or ring finger for shift, thumb for space), your index fingers just do 99% of the work. We keep up with our hands position by those two fingers

    But even if we restrict it to just two fingers, which is how we started off, having memorized the layout of the keyboard…. my god pushing space with anything other than my thumb is difficult…… I can see why a 10finger typist has a hard time believing 2 finger speeds with this habitual handicap! Find a middle/high schooler who just learned how to not look at the keyboard using the two finger peck method. they will give a much better representation, of actual two finger performance. It’s not slow if your use to it I sware.

    That said, I have evolved into a 10 finger typist. I still primarily use my index fingers though. My hands constantly move to each side of the keyboard, depending on what I am typing. my index finger is the most used, but I will use my middle and ring finger 50% of the time (50% index, 35% middle, 15% ring). Thumb and pinky dedicated to space and shift/enter.
    I usually have fingers on the next 2-4 keys I need to push. My speed is 122-130wps

    While this isn’t 2 fingers anymore, it is the evolved version of hunt and peck, after hunting is no longer required, and pecking has been improved. My hands don’t have a particular resting position, but instead move straight to the next keys they need to type. When not typing, they can be anywhere.

    That said, when typing passwords, I use all 10 fingers to type all characters at blazing fast speeds. A combination of the fact I am used to the pattern, and I had to adapt my typing habits to accommodate my 64 character passwords for secure sites (like banks/email). WebAuthn is making that no longer necessary. Can’t wait for the spec to be finalized.

    If anyone is wondering, I am a programmer. Pinky is dedicated to space because of this. Before I became a programmer, I used my pinky to type as well, like I still do for passwords. It’s just when your constantly writing things like…

    while (your_a_programmer) {
    if ($sym_typed >= letters_typed / 5) {
    return dedication_required();
    else { // I don’t care what language you use, I don’t believe you
    REM I don’t know what language this is, so just in case this compiles,
    ;; and panic! doest abort, lets try to return something reasonable
    return std::math::floor(((max(@a[1],0) – b) / parser::parse(&c).to_int()^2) + 0.5); # Hope these fn exist, and variables are initialized.

    Your pinky just gets used to that position.

  14. Its morally wrong to use asinine “hunt and peck” methods to type. You have 10 fingers, use them. The defensiveness shown by many of the posters on here proves they know they are doing it wrong and simply don’t want to admit it. It isn’t merely about speed or accuracy but style. 10 fingers is more elegant and looks better.

  15. I never recorded how fast I type but it is really fast. I am typing in a chat and i get kicked for spamming but it is really called fast typing. People were thinking I was pasting and I was really just typing fast. When I took AZ Merit my friends thought I cheated but no, typing fast. I use two fingers and when typing with ten, I get less than 30WPM. If you have grown up typing with two fingers, don’t bother using ten. True, ten fingers have been faster than two, but recording the fastest of ten and fastest of two doesn’t show the information people want. This site is just wrong.

  16. 2 fingers CAN be faster I’m not saying it CAN’T I’m saying that it CAN be faster than 10, but I prefer 2 do it both ways. I can get over 185 WPM using just 2 fingers. I only can go over 21 WPM with 10 fingers, but hey it’s still a work in progress! I think its cool to learn both ways! Its a different experience for everyone! Mainly people type with 10 fingers but I think its fine both ways! 😀 😉 😛 🙂

  17. I am very surprised with the typisters with two fingers saying that they can be faster than to whom can type with 10 fingers, it is really a joke,it is likey to say to someone who has one leg that he/she can run faster thant the one who can run with two legs.

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